Ares: Firms must plan for ‘hard Brexit’

The global fund manager is considering a move to continental Europe as the uncertainty continues.

Assuming there will be a soft Brexit would be ‘irresponsible’, according to the CCO of one global fund manager.

Stephanie Shepard Cobb, a managing director and head of European compliance at Ares Management, said the firm was proceeding with caution.

“We’re exploring establishing a manager on the European continent – it would be irresponsible to assume anything other than a ‘hard Brexit’,” she said, speaking on a panel at the BVCA Summit in London.

Persistent uncertainty over how passporting and marketing funds into the EU from the UK will work continues to make managers uneasy. “That is the biggest concern for us regarding Brexit,” commented Jillian Regan, senior compliance officer and counsel at Apollo Management, a global fund manager.

Where to expand operations on the continent is largely dictated by where a firm already has capability, said Nick du Cros, vice-president and UK legal and compliance officer at HarbourVest, a global alternatives manager.

“We have many of our holding structures in Luxembourg, so that may push us to expand operations there,” he said.

“We do want to launch a continental European structure, but the difficulty is hiring people to staff it. It will take some time,” he added.